Are you hoping to launch a startup in the near future, or are you in the midst of doing so? You are following a path that many have tread before you, but naturally, you want to divert your course somewhere along the line and do something no one has done before. Fortunately, you still have a wealth of experience to learn from, so remember to pay attention to people who have made mistakes so that you do not need to repeat them. Perhaps you are opening a tech company, becoming a dropshipper, launching a fashion boutique, starting a bakery, or something else-the ideas are infinite. Whatever you are doing, watch out for these hurdles that other startups have tripped over in the past.
Not starting soon enough
Surely you want to be patient, right? Absolutely-you should ensure your product or service is ready to go and you have the right team on board. However, it is dangerous to procrastinate. In a personal nature, you might get lost in your head, convinced that you are not ready, and then you never begin. It helps to be prepared, but sometimes you need to charge ahead and get going. You cannot fail or succeed if you do not try.
It’s good to be passionate about your product, but be wary of becoming so obsessed that you make iteration after iteration and never get to releasing anything. Even if your product is as perfect as it can be, it is still susceptible to problems. Waiting too long might give your competition time to outrace you, and then your idea is not as revolutionary as you hoped it would be.
Some startups have also faced issues regarding raising capital too early. As soon as you accept investments, you have people that are holding you accountable. They have expectations of you, and they want you to deliver on your promises as soon as possible. You may think that amassing large sums of money early on will increase your chances of success, but the clock starts as soon as you do so, which means you might make poor decisions frantically. Set a plan for your startup, and remember to, well, start.
Staffing too hastily
On the other hand, you might be so eager that you hire people to fill numerous positions that you are sure you will need. However, those positions might not be necessary once your company is off the ground-and then you have to let people go after a week or two because there is no work to do (or money to pay them). Wait to get a better idea of what your operations will require before searching for people to perform tasks that you cannot. If you hire too hastily, you will waste someone else’s time and cause a significant amount of workplace confusion.
Differing team visions
You may not be starting your company alone. If this is the case, you have hopefully connected with co-founders or allies that have the same mission as you do. However, miscommunication happens, and some newbie business partners have different ideas about how they’d like to shape the company but do not realize it until it’s too late. Chris Doerfler from 3DFS says:
“In my experience, I think the biggest challenge of any startup organization is to manage the individual visions and expectations of those who contribute to the company as the venture grows. Entrepreneurial energy must be directed and controlled, but the entrepreneurs don’t like being told what to do. The stronger the alignment of the vision among the contributors, the further it goes before outside help is required.”
Make sure everyone involved in the company is on the same page. If you have plans that do not align with your partners’, the clash can be challenging to navigate, and both your business and relationship could suffer.
Ignoring your neighbors
Your business may have competition, but besides having a company culture of your own, you are also part of a larger “startup culture.” There are lots of infant ventures in the same boat you are, so feel free to lean on one another and grow together. Maybe you have an old classmate or mentor who is launching something-talk to each other about operational issues you run into, tax details you encounter, or ask for advice regarding team member chemistry. Your business will benefit from collaborating with people outside of it.
Launching a startup business is a substantial endeavor, but there are hurdles your predecessors have encountered that you can avoid. What obstacles will you be on the lookout for?